Foraging for rock textures at Point Lobos

Point LobosSan Jose, San Francisco and Palo Alto left me giddy after my museum and gallery visits two weeks ago. Understandable, living as I do in north Idaho, so distant from the metro art world.

And yet, if I had to choose between these urban delights and encounters with rock sculptures along the Big Sur coastline?  No contest!  Rapture is the only word to describe how I felt that day, scrambling with my camera over rocks stuffed with countless stories about powerful forces that shaped this planet.  Their textures are astonishing—ridged and grooved, etched and pitted, fractured and fissured, hollowed, striated and stacked, pebbled and aggregated.

Point Lobos

Point Lobos, a crumpled sliver of continental crust formed 80 million years ago, during days of dinosaurs, the Cretaceous Period. What happened next, to summarize a two-page Wikipedia account, is this: during the next 30 million years, cooling magma formed what is called Santa Lucia granite. Uplifted to the earth’s surface, this became the bedrock for all the stratification to follow of younger sedimentary rock.


This coastal headland’s rough and tumble story of creation and destruction continues to present day, punctuated by cycles volcanic and tectonic activity and non-stop battering by wind and water. The three major rock categories—igneous, metaphoric, sedimentary—they’re all on exhibit here, displayed in glorious splendor.